Madonna has fame, she has money in the bank, and she has achieved success, but having a child changed her life completely, and definitely for the better. In 1996, when the queen of pop was 38, she made headlines because she was pregnant with her first child, Lourdes Leon.
Madonna has six children now (a brood that’s so large she could rival Angelina Jolie) but it is her first child that transformed her life and started her journey into motherhood. For Madonna, becoming a mother was like a rebirth — she told the Los Angeles Times (via E! News), "I feel like I'm starting my life all over in some ways. My daughter's birth was like a rebirth for me.”
Now, 22 years later, Lourdes has done a lot of growing up, and she doesn’t just look like a replica of her famous mother, she also shares a lot of similarities with her. Both women have made a name for themselves in the fashion industry — they have collaborated since Lourdes was a child — and Madonna describes her daughter as the “light of her life.” Below are 20 pictures of Madonna’s daughter Lourdes growing up, and how she’s transformed over the years.
Madonna is a mom to six children (seriously, she could give Angelina Jolie a run for her money), but her firstborn child was her daughter, Lourdes Leon.
Madonna gave birth to Lourdes in 1996, and growing up the similarities between mother and daughter have been so striking that they have been the subject of many headlines. Lourdes has been described as her mother’s look-a-like, or referred to as the spitting image of her mother. But looks are not the only thing they have in common, and both mom and daughter have a similar sense of style and have collaborated on a fashion collection together for Macy’s, ABC News reports.
Madonna had a relationship with her former fitness trainer Carlos Leon, and Lourdes Leon was born to them. She was the singer’s first child, and at 38, motherhood was something that changed Madonna’s life immeasurably.
"When I look into my daughter's eyes right now, I feel that I'm being healed," Madonna said on Oprah (via E! News) "...Because I didn't have a mother that I could grow up looking into the eyes of, I couldn't recognize myself in [my mom], I couldn't see myself in her. So now I look into my daughter's eyes and I see that recognition, and it is so extraordinary, that feeling, and I think that it is going to heal a lot of the pain that I felt growing up without a mother." This experience changed her life, without a doubt.
It takes a lot to be comfortable showing off your armpit hair, something that women are often told they should shave or wax, and definitely never show off. But Lourdes likes to let her hair grow out, she also doesn’t mind who sees it, and a lot of people saw it, because she ended up making headlines in many publications.
According to People, this is yet another thing that Lourdes and Madonna have in common, and in 2014, Madonna showed off her own armpit hair. But this was nothing new for her, and she has previously told Harper’s Bazaar that she didn’t shave in high school, saying, “I refused to wear makeup, to have a hairstyle. I refused to shave. I had hairy armpits.”
Being a mom to six children certainly means that Madonna has her hands full, but she appears to be a very dedicated mom. Speaking of motherhood in an interview with Oprah (via E! News) in 1997, she spoke about how her pregnancy was first a bit unexpected, but then she realized that it was perfect because she was getting something that she wanted “more than anything.”
She is also a celebrity mom who likes to share photos of her family on social media, including this photo, which she used as an opportunity to celebrate her daughter’s birthday, calling her the “light of my life.”
Madonna and Lourdes Leon may have similar interests now (both have made a name for themselves in the fashion industry), but it seems they did when Lourdes was a child, too. And we say that because when Lourdes was seven, she and her mama collaborated on a book called, The English Roses. According to E! News, Madonna and her daughter appeared at readings together.
The children’s book was released in 2003, and according to GoodReads, it is the story of “rivalry and friendship among schoolgirls in contemporary London.” The story follows the lives of four best friends who are envious of another student.
Madonna’s daughter is always going to make headlines, because, after all, she is Madonna’s daughter. And now that Lourdes is growing up, there is an interest in her relationships, and over the years, she has been linked to a couple of boyfriends.
When she was in high school, she dated actor Timothee Chalamet, Entity reports, although they split after a year. And during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Madonna shared how she had met one of Lourde's boyfriends from college, and explained that he had spent the weekend at their house. “He's a very sensible boy — young man, I shouldn't say he's a boy. He's intelligent, so I'm happy about that,” she added.
If this photo is anything to go by, then it seems that Lourdes is not concerned with who sees her showing affection to the people she loves, including her boyfriends. According to Daily Mail, the man in the photo is an “unidentified man,” and the pair were photographed during a grocery shopping trip in New York City.
The pair were also photographed holding hands and appeared to be very comfortable in each other’s presence, at least, Lourdes’ very laid-back outfit would suggest that. The publication also notes that a year earlier, in 2016, Lourdes and the same young man had been photographed together on a date.
Most people know who Madonna is. She is just one of those celebrities who has achieved so much in the entertainment industry and her songs are still played on the radio (and guaranteed to get people singing along). Considering just how famous Madonna is — when she was pregnant with Lourdes, cameramen camped outside her house hoping to get a photo — you would think that her daughter would be used to fame. But, fame is not even a word that is uttered in Madonna’s house.
"We don't talk about fame, we don't have magazines in the house, and we don't watch TV," Madonna told O magazine, of how she raised her children.
Lourdes is close to her siblings, and if pictures speak a thousand words, then it seems that she is a great big sister. Four of her siblings were adopted from Malawi, and over the years Madonna and her children have traveled back to the country multiple times.
Madonna has also co-founded a charity called Raising Malawi, which aims to help children and orphans in the country, This Is Insider reports. Madonna also opened the Mercy James Pediatric Hospital, and in 2018, a year after it opened, she returned with all six of her children (including Lourdes) to celebrate the anniversary of the center's opening.
Madonna experienced the same feelings that most mothers have when sending their children off to college, and when it came time for Lourdes to leave for the University Of Michigan, she was heartbroken.
On an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (via Daily Mail), Madonna spoke about how the experience sent her into depression. She also explained how she never realized she would fall apart so much when her daughter left home, but added, “I'm always so happy when she calls me and she says, ‘Mommy, I miss you' or 'I need you to rub my head.’ I'm still needed.”
Madonna is a woman who has made headlines for her antics over the years, and it seems that Lourdes also has a flair for the dramatic, although perhaps not in the same way, because she was in a school play. According to Hello! Magazine, when Lourdes was a student at Manhattan’s LaGuardia Performing Arts School, she took part in a play, which her mom watched from the audience.
But Madonna also shared this photo of Lourdes from another production, in which she played the role of a French Maid in A Flea in her Ear. Madonna told fans it was an “amazing production,” and that her daughter had “amazing talent.”
Lourdes is not one of those celebrity children who has grown up lonely because she is from a big family. She has five siblings from Madonna’s side; her brother Rocco (whose father is Guy Ritchie) is her half-brother, and four siblings, David, Mercy, Esther and Stella, who Madonna adopted from Malawi.
She also has a much younger half-sibling on her dad Carlos Leon’s side, and his name is Meeka.
It’s safe to say that Lourdes has more siblings than the average person, and she appears to be close to them. She is often photographed alongside one of her siblings, smiling into the camera.
Lourdes has an interest in fashion and made her runway modeling debut in New York Fashion Week in 2018. She walked the runway for Gypsy Sport's Spring 2019 show, and according to Harper’s Bazaar, before she was a catwalk model she was often seen showing her support in the crowd of prestigious fashion shows — and has done so since she was a child.
Lourdes has also appeared in several fashion campaigns, including Stella McCartney's Pop fragrance and Converse's MadeMe collaboration. But, perhaps her most high-profile campaign was for Miu Miu, when she photographed for their Spring 2019 ad campaign alongside other upcoming stars, W Magazine notes.
When Lourdes went off to college, she didn’t act spoiled or rich and instead wanted to get the full University Of Michigan experience. According to Daily Mail, she chose to stay on campus in a shared dorm room.
A student spoke to the publication about Lourdes, and what she was like as a student there."She's not as sociable as many people would have thought and she couldn't be more different from Madonna's huge persona," the insider shared.
Another student added, "There's no diva behavior or anything like that. She's really aware how people might judge her and doesn't want a bad reputation."
Lourdes has also found a way to express her individuality and personality through tattoos, and she has a lot of them.
According to Daily Mail, among her tattoos, there are two that pay tribute to her mom, and also her adopted sister, Mercy. Lourdes has Mercy’s name on her arm, and also the word “mom” written across her right knuckles. And The Telegraph notes that on her left knuckles, she has the word “dad.” But these are not her only tattoos (as you can see in this photo) and Lourdes has many unusual markings, including what looks to be the outline of an alien.
These days, most people have their phone joined to their ear or attached to their hand, and as a society, we are reliant on technology to communicate. Although Lourdes has been photographed with her phone in her hand on numerous occasions, she isn’t one of those people who spends her life on social media. At least, we don’t think so, because she does not have any public social media accounts where she can rack up followers and share every aspect of her life, and she has chosen not to give interviews to the press. For the most part, it seems Lourdes is far more interested in living a normal life.
Madonna’s professional work didn’t stop when she became a mother, she simply learned to balance the two. She even told Rock Center (via SheKnows) that she was the type of parent who came home and asked her children if they had finished their homework, or why they were wearing a certain outfit. But she also found a balance by allowing her kids to travel with her when she was on tour.
Lourdes wrote in her blog (via BabyGaga) that she spent a summer in her teens working on her mom’s productions. “It's really a great experience to be able to work on a large production, traveling around like a family, setting up for an amazing show and all having the same purpose,” she said, adding it was one of her “best summers.”
In addition to working on her mom’s tours when she was a teen, Lourdes Leon is also a thoughtful individual who has been involved in helping others and doing community service. This is a topic Madonna touched on in an interview with Parents, in which she discussed how she reminds her children how fortunate they are to live the lives that they have.
“My daughter goes to children's hospitals to read my books to other children, and as she and my son get older, I'm sure they will become more involved in community service,” Madonna said of Lourdes when she was only a child.
Kylie Jenner may be one of the most well-known celebrities when it comes to beauty products, and she’s founded an impressive brand that has earned her respect and a lot of money. But Jenner is not the only young celebrity to be interested in beauty products, and according to Teen Vogue, Lourdes dropped a Material Girl line for Macy's.
The line included a number of beauty products, including nail polish, lip gloss, and body mist. She was also involved in this line in her teens, and was just 14 at the time. "I love everything that has to do with beauty!” she said of the collection. “It’s always fun to get made up for a party, and it makes you feel good.”
Madonna and Carlos Leon’s relationship did not last, but he was present in his daughter’s life, and according to E! News, they still remain close. In this photo, Madonna also shared how her daughter was “Created with Love.”
Lourdes is lucky that she has two parents who love her, and being a good mom is really important to Madonna. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey for the 2004 issue of the O magazine, Madonna told the publication what her proudest moment away from the limelight was. Her answer was this: “I can't think of just one, but it would involve learning and some kind of exchange with somebody I love. Like teaching my daughter how to read…”
Sources: ABC News, E! News, Good Reads, Oprah, This Is Insider, Daily Mail, Hello!, People, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar, W magazine, Daily Mail, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Entity, Daily Mail, SheKnows, BabyGaga, Parents, Teen Vogue.